First case of person-to-person transmission of Wuhan virus in the US confirmed

The husband of an Illinois woman with Wuhan coronavirus is now infected with the illness, and is the first confirmed case of person-to-person transmission of...

Posted: Jan 30, 2020 10:30 AM
Updated: Jan 30, 2020 1:15 PM

The husband of an Illinois woman with Wuhan coronavirus is now infected with the illness, and is the first confirmed case of person-to-person transmission of the virus in the United States, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Thursday.

'I want to emphasize that the risk of this novel coronavirus to the general public in Illinois remains low,' Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said in a written statement on Thursday. She added that local, state and federal health officials are working to identify people who have had close contact with the case in order to minimize further spread of the virus.

'We will continue to keep the public fully informed as additional information becomes available,' she said.

The husband, a Chicago resident in his 60s, is the second confirmed case of the virus in the state.

The woman, who is in her 60s, is the first confirmed travel-associated case in Illinois and was diagnosed after returning from Wuhan, China, where the outbreak originated. She is 'doing quite well' and remains hospitalized primarily for isolation, doctors told reporters during a telebriefing with reporters on Thursday.

The husband, who did not travel to China, was admitted more recently to the hospital and has some underlying medical conditions, but is stable.

'Given what we've seen in China versus other countries, CDC experts have expected to find some person-to-person spread in the United States,' CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said during Thursday's telebriefing.

'Based on what we know now, our assessment remains that the immediate risk to the American public is low.'

The Illinois Department of Public Health said the husband was in close contact with his spouse over a long period of time while she was symptomatic. Symptoms can include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

'We know coronaviruses are most likely to spread through close personal contact, and we know this second patient had close contact with his wife after she began to develop symptoms, so it's not totally unexpected that he acquired the virus,' Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said in the written statement on Thursday.

'This is exactly why public health has been monitoring him closely, and why we monitor any close contacts of confirmed cases,' she said. 'This does not change our guidance that the risk to the general public remains low at this time. People in the community do not need to change their behavior based on this news; for example, they don't need to cancel events, avoid mass gatherings, or wear gloves and masks in public.'

Public health officials are investigating locations the second patient visited over the past two weeks and any people he may have had close contact with, state officials said.

Public health and medical professionals are taking an aggressive approach in identifying and actively monitoring people who were in contact with both the second patient and his wife in an effort to reduce the risk of additional transmission. A CDC team also remains in Illinois to support those efforts, according to the state.

In the United States so far, with this latest case, there are a total of six confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to the CDC. One case is in Arizona, one in Washington state, two in California and two in Illinois. The CDC said Wednesday that 165 people in the United States have been under investigation for the virus. Sixty-eight had tested negative and 92 results were pending.

In mainland China, at least 170 people have died and more than 8,100 cases have been confirmed as the virus continues to spread.

'If you are a traveler who has recently returned from the impacted area, we want you to be vigilant with the symptoms and signs of this coronavirus,' Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said during the teleconference.

'Wash your hands, cover your cough,' Messonnier said. 'For the rest of the American public right now, we understand that folks are concerned.'

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 154878

Reported Deaths: 2206
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah31824528
Washington21099212
Marion18373285
Clackamas13328175
Lane10200126
Jackson8315111
Umatilla763982
Deschutes593459
Yamhill376764
Linn357756
Malheur334458
Polk303942
Klamath278455
Douglas244754
Josephine232849
Benton232516
Jefferson195128
Coos144019
Union128119
Columbia124821
Wasco122026
Lincoln112820
Hood River106429
Morrow104614
Clatsop7756
Crook77518
Baker6507
Curry4246
Tillamook4142
Lake3746
Harney2736
Grant2221
Wallowa1424
Gilliam531
Sherman530
Wheeler221
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California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 3559311

Reported Deaths: 51794
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles118923221241
Riverside2894503767
San Bernardino2860772783
Orange2607213982
San Diego2589823260
Santa Clara1102371777
Kern102627811
Fresno950151422
Sacramento929611464
Alameda802791241
Ventura77395834
San Joaquin665691082
Contra Costa62164674
Stanislaus55887946
Tulare47784746
Monterey42138327
San Mateo38872515
San Francisco34138398
Santa Barbara31763407
Solano30024164
Merced28915395
Sonoma28004298
Imperial26855589
Kings21951218
Placer19763232
San Luis Obispo19612227
Madera15414209
Santa Cruz14588183
Marin13136197
Yolo12787185
Shasta10969174
Butte10922160
El Dorado9095100
Napa899869
Sutter884597
San Benito575259
Yuba573336
Lassen560119
Tehama508152
Tuolumne394659
Nevada394074
Mendocino379643
Amador344841
Humboldt318033
Lake314140
Glenn221923
Colusa212813
Calaveras190547
Siskiyou174014
Inyo128736
Mono12114
Del Norte9875
Plumas6536
Modoc4524
Mariposa3957
Trinity3675
Sierra990
Alpine810
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